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Alberta premier says federal throne speech stomps into provincial jurisdiction

Alberta premier says federal throne speech stomps into provincial jurisdiction-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he is disappointed with the federal government’s throne speech. He says there is nothing in the Trudeau government’s plan for the ailing energy industry. (CBC)

 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney sees grounds for more constitutional challenges, should the federal Liberal government follow through with the promises contained in Wednesday’s throne speech.

Kenney told reporters Thursday morning federal government plans jeopardize global investments in Alberta’s forestry and fertilizer sectors — moves the premier believes are an infringement on Alberta’s right to develop its own natural resources.

He called the speech a “full-frontal attack” on federalism.

“There were more policies that would invade provincial jurisdiction than I could count,” Kenney said.

He accused the Trudeau government of pursuing policies that require constitutional amendments.

“I regret the federal government so spectacularly failed the mark yesterday,” Kenney said.

The Alberta government is already challenging the federal government’s consumer carbon tax in court, as well as the federal Impact Assessment Act, which changed the environmental approval process for major infrastructure projects.

Kenney said other Canadian premiers may share his concerns, and he plans to speak with his colleagues across the country later Thursday.

The premier also reiterated comments from a written statement he issued Wednesday, saying the federal speech from the throne failed to acknowledge the Canadian oil and gas sector and included policies destined to damage an already-battered industry.

Federal tax incentives promised for companies developing net-zero technologies unfairly exclude the oil and gas sector, Kenney said.

“There was space for every bright shiny object, every possible political distraction — kooky academic theories like intersectionality found their way into yesterday’s throne speech, but not one word about health transfers for the provinces that are carrying 80 per cent of the costs as our population ages and we cope with a pandemic,” Kenney said.

In a statement Wednesday — issued hours after Gov. Gen. Julie Payette delivered her address in the Senate Chamber — Kenney said the Liberal government’s energy policies would “strangle investment and jeopardize resource jobs” in Alberta.

His statement said Ottawa needs to recognize the fiscal calamity Alberta faces and should give the province $6.5 billion in fiscal stabilization payments.

“Alberta has never asked for a handout. Instead, we are merely asking for the federal government to support our province in the same way that Alberta has supported Canada for generations.”

One of the pillars of the throne speech was a promise by the Liberal minority government to create over one million jobs through direct investment, wage subsidies and other skills and incentives programs.

The government also promised to exceed its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels and legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

CBC

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